The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board to file further action taken and compliance reports on alleged illegal brick kilns operating in District Baghpat, within 50 to 500 meters of village habitations and resulting in Cancer and Asthma to 40 percent inhabitants.
A bench led by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel gave the directions while hearing a petition filed by one Rajbeer Singh. A report was filed by the joint Committee on November 19, stating that 43 brick kilns were inspected. 482 more brick kilns were in existence. The siting criteria which was laid down under the Uttar Pradesh Brick Kiln (Siting Criteria for establishment) Rules, 2012, will apply to kilns established after 2012.
The tribunal said "The report does not show how many brick kilns existed prior to 2012. Compliance of air quality norms is also not mentioned. It is undisputed that unit set up after 2012, in violation of laid down siting criteria, cannot be allowed to continue. With
regard to others, this Tribunal has already held that the siting criteria can be invoked for future while renewing the Consent to Operate. No vested right is created by mere establishment. If such establishment affects public health and environment, consent to operate may not be renewed, having regard to the environmental status."
It added that "SPCB has also to have regard to the carrying capacity of the area to sustain activity of brick kilns while renewing consent to operate in the light of 'Precautionary' and
'Sustainable Development' principles of the environment act. All that is required for assessing the carrying capacity is the existing air quality and the anticipated impact of the permitted activity, which can be done by the SPCB itself from time to time. The tribunal has now posted the matter for further hearing on March 2, 2020.